I’m a little late here but… I’m officially a finisher of the Chicago Marathon!
Pardon my language, but I made that 26.2 miles my bitch! It’s not like I posted a record time or anything, but I ran every step of it (OK, maybe you could argue that I had to walk through some of the hydration stations, but whatever) and came in 10 minutes faster than my goal time. And most people say for your first marathon, your goal should really just be to finish. Well, done and done.
I guess those four-plus months of training paid off because I also wasn’t very sore in the days after. (I swear by ice baths!) The marathon was last Sunday, I took Monday off (though really I didn’t need to) and by Wednesday, I felt ready to workout again. But I didn’t. Instead, I let myself eat and drink whatever I wanted for an entire week, and now today, I desperately need to get back on the bandwagon. After feeding your body a bunch of quality food and working out about five days a week, straying from that kind of makes you feel like crap.
I don’t really know how to work out now though. I had definitely plateaued because I noticed toward the end that even if I was running like 30 miles a week, I was gaining a little weight. (Though apparently at some point, I “lost” my boobs, as a male friend so rudely pointed out to me last weekend! WTF?!) I guess I’ll have to try something different, but it makes me a little sad only because I already really miss the mental aspect of a long run. As much as I sound like a cheesy workout shirt, running really did became my therapy.
It’s also kind of a weird feeling to devote your life to something for months, have everyone ask you about it, finally accomplish that thing—and then really not having anything to show for it. Sure, I can say I ran a marathon, which is a feat in and of itself, but I somehow feel like my life should be different… but it’s not. It’s the same as it was in April. No wonder professional athletes are terrible with their money—I bet they try to use it to feel the void! Am I just getting sentimental? Any other runners out there feel the same way?
On a more upbeat note, I have to thank everyone who encouraged me in this endeavor. There were so many sweet Facebook messages and texts, and I’m sorry I didn’t respond to every one. I was telling my parents afterward that I’m not sure I could do a marathon where I didn’t have any fans out on the course—it really did mean the world to see my friends and family, if only a fleeting glimpse! xoxo